Washington, DC – A former high-ranking U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) acting as a whistleblower sent congressional leadership a letter that accused top brass at the police department of having failed to properly respond to the Capitol riot and lying to Congress about it.
The letter, obtained by Politico, was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).
In the letter, the whistleblower accused former USCP Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman of having lied to Congress about a key intelligence report the department received in late December.
The report in question noted that a blog called “thedonald.win” had shared a map of the Capitol campus, Politico reported.
It also noted that commenters on the blog were calling for protesters to come armed to the rally on Jan. 6 so they could confront members of Congress.
Then-Acting Chief Pittman told congressional investigators that a number of senior Capitol Police officials were aware of that intelligence ahead of the riot, Politico reported.
However, the whistleblower who was himself a high-ranking USCP official when the Capitol riot occurred, said that Acting Chief Pittman lied.
He said in his letter that other police officials were not given that intelligence ahead of the riot, Politico reported.
“This document was incredibly important and damning to Assistant Chief Pittman and Deputy Chief Gallagher, which is why I allege they lied and stated it was shared with the command staff,” the whistleblower’s letter read. “The command staff would have NEVER known they were lied about if it weren’t for the work of the U.S. Senate.”
Acting Chief Pittman stepped back into her earlier role of assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations for the Capitol Police after newly-sworn USCP Chief Thomas Stanger took the helm of the department in July.
The whistleblower also referred to USCP Acting Assistant Chief for Uniformed Operations Sean Gallagher in his letter, Politico reported.
“These officials were the only officials that had all the intelligence information for the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote. “The single most important piece of intelligence information… was never shared with any members of USCP leadership. Why did they approve the operational plan for the 6th if they knew the intelligence?”
The whistleblower also told congressional leadership that Asst. Chiefs Pittman and Gallagher also had intelligence that showed groups that had gotten permits for events around the Capitol on Jan. 6 were acting as front operations for Stop the Steal, according to Politico.
In the letter, the whistleblower accused Asst. Chiefs Gallagher and Pittman of having had all the intelligence that they would have needed to justify asking the National Guard for help to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6.
He also said they could have justified closing the Capitol doors that day and using tougher but less-than-lethal weapons when rioters tried to breach the building, Politico reported.
Instead, the whistleblower claimed that Asst. Chief Gallagher and Pittman didn’t share the intelligence with the right people and approved a security plan that was terribly inadequate for what was to come.
The whistleblower wrote that was USCP’s Command Center with Asst. Chiefs Pittman and Gallagher during the Capitol riot and said they did little to try and stop the violence, Politico reported.
“What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives,” the whistleblower wrote.
“It is my allegation that these two with intent and malice opted to not try and assist the officers and officials, blame[d] others for the failures, and chose to try and use this event for their own personal promotions,” the letter read. “This was done not after the even[t] but while officers and officials were still fighting the demonstrators.”
The whistleblower accused the officials of having watched the riot “mostly with their hands in their laps,” and said they “did not try to help or assist as officers and officials were literally fighting for each other, their lives and the Congress,” Politico reported.
Multiple law enforcement officials have confirmed the whistleblower’s presence in the command center.
However, they disputed his characterization of the assistant chiefs’ actions during the riot and said that Asst. Chief Gallagher was focused on getting help from other law enforcement agencies and the National Guard and Asst. Chief Pittman was getting members of Congress and the Vice President evacuated, Politico reported.
The whistleblower told congressional leadership in his letter that USCP officials and officers have been resigning en masse from the police force because nobody has held Asst. Chiefs Pittman or Gallagher accountable for what happened.
“This concerted effort to protect the two members of the Department without question the most responsible for the tragic events of January 6th is repulsive,” the letter read.
He blamed congressional leadership for allowing Asst. Chiefs Pittman and Gallagher to remain on the USCP command staff under the new chief, Politico reported.
“[I]t is immensely embarrassing to the congressional leadership and staff that they selected the two individuals most responsible for the 6th to lead the Department after the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote. “Especially since some entity selected them without any investigation. To hold them accountable would require this same group to admit they were wrong.”
Capitol Police released a statement in response to the whistleblower’s letter that the department has already begun implanting changes recommended after reviews into the its performance on Jan. 6, Politico reported.
“The letter from the former employee echoes the thoughtful recommendations in those reports,” the statement read. “USCP leaders, under new Chief Tom Manger, are committed to learning from prior mistakes and protecting our brave officers, who fought valiantly on January 6, so we can continue to carry out the Department’s critical mission. The men and women of this Department are committed to that critical mission.”
“Our goal is to work as a team, to move forward, and advance the work that keeps the U.S. Capitol and the people who work here safe,” the statement read.